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Is Pool Table Slate Worth Anything?

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Have you ever had an old pool table that you didn’t need, but wanted to know if the slate was worth anything? Maybe you heard that you can sell the slate from your pool table and make money, but you weren’t sure. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about pool table slate and its value. 

So is pool table slate worth anything?

If you are trying to sell your old pool table slate, it may be worth a few dollars, but for the most part, it is not worth a whole lot of money. If you are needing new slate for your pool table though, or are looking to buy a slate pool table, you will find out that slate is expensive when it is brand new. 

If you want to know more about pool table slate and the value of slate, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also check out this video to learn how a slate pool table is made. 

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Is pool popular?

The game of Pool is becoming quite popular among homeowners to be a luxury to acquire when putting your home in style. There is quite a bit of equipment required to be able to play pool in the comfort of your own home.

Obviously, the most central and most important piece is the pool table. This table is made of a number of key pieces that determine how amazing the gameplay on it will be. These are the cloth, the cushions, the balls and finally the slate or wood. 

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What is slate?

Scientifically, slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogenous metamorphic rock delivered from an original shale type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. Another scientific fact about slate is the fact that it has a low water absorption index making it nearly waterproof.

Moisture is important in the duration and sustainability of pool tables over time. The slate you need for a pool table is slate that is dry, but not too dry. Slate that is too dry is ineffective and begins to crack when tightening down screws.

What is slate good for anyways you might wonder? Good quality slate will give the ball frictionless roll that is smooth overall because there won’t be peaks or valleys in the table. Trust me, this is good for the cue sports players as the game is all about fantastic precision. If you have ever played pool before, you know just how important this is.

Some pool playfields are made of non-slate materials, but it’s important to know that slate is the superior and most commonly used material while making these playing fields. Even though slate means something to pool players, and to the game of pool itself, money wise, it is not worth much at all on a pool table. 

What should I know about slate?

Slate comes in many varying colors depending on where it is mined. In particular, Pool slate is commonly black or gray. The final usable slate is obtained using the milling process. Slate is mined from the ground and then cut, sanded flat, then usually backed with a wood frame.

During all these processes the sanding process is crucial to the gameplay as it can create or eliminate high or low spots in the slate.

After getting a well-moisturized slate, we find that pool table manufacturers categorize the table build in two different categories. These are a 3 piece slate and a 1 piece slate pool table. and there is a difference between these two types of slates.

Basically, when buying your pool table, your dealer will present to you two choices of Pool tables. those made of one solid piece, thus 1 piece slate; and the other option is those made of three individual pieces with two seams between them.

There are opinions about which option is the best, but your dealer is most likely going to sell you the three-piece slate table first. This is because these are most common when it comes to high-quality tables, thus higher in value. Even though one piece slate tables are practical when it comes to bars or pool clubs most people choose three piece tables as they are easier to move.

While both have different advantages and disadvantages when manufactured well they both offer very smooth gameplay.

The value of a Pool table slate

The value of a Pool table slate is dependent on a number of factors namely the slate thickness and whether it is a one-piece slate or a three-piece slate. As a professional tip, there is also a difference in value between a three-piece slate made from the same piece of slate and one that is not.

You should check for a small semi-circle chalk mark to tell if the slate is a matched set when the piece originated from the same piece of slate.If the slate has the marks on each side of the slate and they line up perfectly when assembled, then the table was made from one piece. 

Thicker slates are much better as they have fewer deficiencies as well.  It’s also permanently framed with wood providing additional support. Note that heavy slates offer more flexible gameplay as they don’t easily move when players engage in vigorous plays.

There is a better illustration of the value of slate pool tables when they compare to non-slate pool tables. It’s a fact that slate is the only pool playing surface that has a precision level that reaches 1/10,000 of an inch. This ensures that the ball rolls in a straight line, which is crucial for professional and even amateur play. Mostly non-slate pool tables are used as toys for children and not playing for adults. 

Should I buy a slate pool table?

There are a couple of guidelines when it comes to buying a new or used pool table. The pool table slate alone is not a consumer item, but in some cases, you might find yourself buying one when you need to repair your pool table. There are sellers who sell slates on amazon and craigslist, but most likely the repairer of your pool will sell you pool slate alongside the fixing and repairing costs. 

As a rule of thumb, if you are buying a pool table for your home you generally stick to the ones made out of 3-piece slates, as these are light for transport and installation thus ideal for homes. You should always look out for MDF (medium-density fiberboards) and slate imitations like Slateron and Trucore. They are cheaper but will cost you much more in the long run as they easily get degraded and damaged.

You will always want to opt for at least standard quality slate for a great playfield and long-lasting pool table. After making sure of the quality of the slate you buy, make sure you hire professional pool movers to make sure you do not damage the pool table while installing it in your home. 


Now that you know the value of slate is undeniably high when it comes to the playfield of the pool tables you purchase, you can also see how it isn’t worth much once it’s installed on a table.  The market of pool tables varies according to the use of real slate in the table, and the quality of the slate used.

If you have a small budget, you should check for used tables with good grade slate rather than buying a cheap new pool table made of other materials besides slate.